27% of tested Aussies have Irish ethnicity

THIS St. Patrick's Day, Ancestry has issued new data revealing that more than a quarter (27 per cent) of Australians who have taken an AncestryDNA test have Irish ethnicity in their DNA.

This makes an Irish background the second most commonly found ethnicity in Australia - with 'British' just edging into the number one spot at 30 per cent.

Irish-Australians have certainly left a distinct footprint on Australian history and culture, including Irish bushranger Ned Kelly, an icon of Australian resistance, as well as at least eight of our past Prime Ministers who claim Irish heritage.

In more recent times, the families of some of Australia's most globally recognised talent including singer Kylie Minogue, actress Rose Byrne, surfing world champ Mick Fanning have all hailed from the Emerald Isle.

AncestryDNA, which launched in Australia in May 2015 has samples from more than 1.5 million people in its global database and uses advanced DNA technology to reveal genetic ethnicity.

With modern Australians claiming to identify with over 300 ancestries, the test enables Australians to discover more than they thought possible about their own story.

Brad Argent at Ancestry, comments, "The differences between our ancestry and ethnicity spark an interesting discussion of who we are and where we come from. Given Australia is mainly a land of immigrants, uncovering your DNA ethnicity goes some way in stitching together the fabric of your past."

Famous celebrities with Irish ancestry revealed by Ancestry, include:

  • Bindi Irwin - the daughter of late national Aussie treasure Steve Irwin has an abundance of Irish ancestry on her father's side. Steve's second great-grandfather on his father's side, Joseph Irwin, was a Dublin-born carpenter who immigrated to Australia in 1876 and his second great- grandmother on his mother's side, Theresa Byrne, was also born in Dublin, but married in Melbourne in 1862.
  • Nicole Kidman - she played an aristocratic Irish woman in Far and Away, but Kidman's 3x great-grandparents Bridget and James Callachar, who arrived in Sydney in January 1842, were among thousands of farmhands who emigrated from Ireland ahead of the great famine.
  • Tim Cahill - known for his high scoring skills on the pitch, this soccer player was born in Sydney to a Samoan mother and an English father, although Cahill's paternal grandfather was of Irish decent.

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